>Russia’s army of media influencers, social media bots and trolls has increasingly amplified alt-right and far-right narratives in the United States since the 2016 presidential election.
>Russia’s efforts to push propaganda and disinformation, experts say, are nothing new and extend beyond the U.S. to nations in Europe. But they have seemed to evolve in recent months, increasingly infiltrating and engaging with alt-right and far-right Americans online.
>Moscow’s aim is widely viewed as exploiting divides and sowing distrust of democratic institutions, the latter a conclusion reached by the U.S. intelligence community in its initial investigation of Russia’s interference in the presidential election, including overt efforts to push propaganda.
>“Promoting content that is divisive – that is the ultimate goal here,” said Lee Foster, manager of information operations analysis at FireEye iSIGHT Intelligence.
>“It’s the same in Europe, but the specific themes change,” Foster said. “There, one of the most prominent themes is migration and the refugee crisis.”
>In some cases, it is pro-Russia personalities, trolls or automated accounts magnifying right-wing messages.
>The latest example is the recent flood of negative coverage of President Trump’s national security adviser, H.R. McMaster, which originated on right-wing media outlets like Breitbart News and has been picked up by prominent conservative personalities, including Sean Hannity.
>The campaign, coined #FireMcMaster, was also picked up by automated Twitter accounts—commonly known as “bots”—that are linked to Russia, according to Hamilton 68, a new dashboard developed to monitor fake news. Separately, researchers at the Atlantic Council’s Digital Forensic Research Lab identified Lee Stranahan, a host on Russian state-run outlet Sputnik, as one of the most prominent voices behind the anti-McMaster campaign.
>“The long view of the Russian active measures program is chaos and disunity among the American government,” Clint Watts, a former FBI agent and cybersecurity expert who developed the Hamilton 68 dashboard, told NPR earlier this month.
>“The reason the #FireMcMaster topic is so potent is it's one of the key themes that you consistently will see the Russians push,” Watts said. “One is anti-EU. They want to see the EU break up. The other one is anti-NATO. And they want to see the U.S. back away from both of those alliances. McMaster's very much about staying engaged in those alliances, which is different from other people in the White House.”
>In other cases, pro-Russian personalities and accounts will push narratives to their targeted audience, attempting to get American influencers to pick up a certain storyline.
>Such was the case during 2016 presidential election campaign, noted Foster, when accounts tweeted content copied from the WikiLeaks dumps of Democratic officials’ emails.
>“Up through the election, it was heavily anti-Clinton and steadily increased in the promotion of pro-Trump material,” Foster said. “It moved into this pro-Trump realm.” He noted that while these accounts continue to push anti-Democratic messaging, the balance has shifted toward pro-right-wing messages.
BERKELEY (CBS SF) — Mayor of Berkeley Jesse Arreguin on Monday said it is time to confront the violent extremism on the left by treating black-clad Antifa protesters as a gang.
A large number of masked Antifa activists were seen jumping the barriers at a largely peaceful demonstration in Berkeley’s Martin Luther King Civic Center Park on Sunday.
Some began attacking Trump supporters at the rally.
“I think we should classify them as a gang,” said Arreguin. “They come dressed in uniforms. They have weapons, almost like a militia and I think we need to think about that in terms of our law enforcement approach.”
Arreguin said that while he does not support the far right, it was time to draw the line on the left as well, especially on the black-clad activists who showed up in force and took over both the protests and the park, and played a part in Sunday’s violent clashes.
“I think we are going to have to think ‘big picture’ about what is the strategy for how we are going to deal with these violent elements on the left as well,” said the mayor.
The mayor said it was also time for the non-violent protesters to take a stand.
“We also need to hold accountable and encourage people not to associate with these extremists because it empowers them and gives them cover,” said Arreguin.
The Rochester Institute of Technology wanted to grab students’ attention when it comes to drinking and sex at freshmen orientation last week.
So campus officials used a Winnie the Pooh character to tell students to masturbate so they won’t be tempted to rape each other.
The image of Roo from a freshmen presentation was posted on the school’s Reddit page about 8:30 p.m. Eastern on Wednesday. It told students to “Think of Roo!” and “RUB ONE OUT,” with an apparently miswritten caption that reads “because I would rather you rub run out.”
A Twitter user also posted an image with a different caption the next day: “Self-gratification can prevent sexual assault.”
Holy fuck, apparently my college revamped their freshman orientation to teach about how to not rape. I just, holy fuck pic.twitter.com/kp7iDnvLnD
— Peachum (@BunLordPeachum) August 24, 2017
The original Reddit poster said the image came from a “consent presentation,” and another poster named it specifically as the mandatory orientation presentation “Alcohol and Chill”:
Perhaps the presenters were trying too hard, but they did do a great job of making a fun yet serious presentation about something very important.
Another said: “We were encouraged to rub one out if our partner or a party didn’t wish to engage in intercourse (and related things). It was meant to be comedic more than anything and I don’t think it was particularly cringe [sic].”
The context of the slide was that if a likely sex partner had provided several consecutive “go ahead” signals for sex, “and then suddenly tells you ‘No,'” the sexually frustrated partner should “go back to your room and Rub One Out,” according to a self-identified freshman:
A picture of roo was shown without the acronym explained at all. There was a pause – and then a collective moan and groan from the audience as the implication slowly washed over everyone, including those teaching it. It was fucking hilarious. Then the acronym was revealed one at a time:
Everyone lost it.
The poster said the presentation also featured vicarious toe-sucking.
Yet another said “several interpreters awkwardly signed RUB ONE OUT” for hard-of-hearing students.
#Newyork #Nyc #Reddit #Livebroadcasting RIT Uses "Roo" Character To Urge Freshman To "Rub One Out" Instead of Rape…
— Ching Geob (@PhilcamChing) August 24, 2017
Rochester radio station 95.1 also posted an sex-ed flyer from RIT’s Center for Women & Gender for April’s sexual-assault awareness month. It shows a cartoon tiger twerking. It reads: “Don’t have sex with a drunk twerking tiger. Only a sober tiger can give consent!” (The school mascot is a tiger.)
In a statement that does not appear to be linked from any other university page, and was not shared on its social-media channels, Rochester Institute of Technology did not describe the Roo slide except to say it has “sparked controversy.”
It is simply titled “A response from the Senior Vice President for Student Affairs,” Sandra Johnson, and said the Roo slide was part of a 77-slide presentation.
Johnson said the sexual-misconduct program “Alcohol and Chill” was developed by Student Counseling and Psychological Services, the Center for Student Conduct and Conflict Mediation, Center for Women and Gender and its Title IX coordinator’s office:
The format of the program was more of a “straight talk” approach, weaving in humor along with important facts and identifying resources for students. The overarching goal was to increase awareness and promote discussion about the ways we together can prevent instances of sexual misconduct on our campus.
The Roo slide was “taken out of context,” she continued:
In my opinion, this serves to underscore the complexity involved in addressing this issue. In our experience, telling students what “not to do” without talking about specific situations that are difficult to navigate is irresponsible; we addressed the subject from a place and context that students could understand. …
While some may think the program on Wednesday evening missed the mark, we’ve had positive feedback from many of the students, both new and returning, in attendance. These are difficult conversations that can be awkward and uncomfortable, and we apologize if we unintentionally offended anyone.
Johnson’s statement does not explain how a baby kangaroo from a children’s book is an effective vehicle for teaching college students about sexual misconduct.
The controversy distracted from the orientation-week message pushed by RIT’s new president, David Munson. He told students the same day as the “Alcohol and Chill” presentation that freshmen should “be open to learning and growing” and “learn how to discuss sensitive topics honestly and respectfully.”
The College Fix has asked the administration why its statement does not appear to have been communicated outside of a single webpage that is not linked elsewhere, why it fails to describe the slide’s content, and which persons and offices developed or oversaw the Roo slide.
About 150 people have been treated in hospital and hundreds more affected by an unknown gas which hit the East Sussex coast.
Birling Gap beach was evacuated on Sunday after people reported breathing difficulties, stinging eyes and vomiting when a "mist" appeared.
Sussex Police said on Monday morning the gas cloud appeared to have cleared.
Agencies are investigating the cause and have not ruled out either on-shore or off-shore locations.
In the past, chemicals have drifted across from European industrial units, but Sussex Police said: "Weather models suggest that an onshore source in northern France is very unlikely."
The Coastguard said it was working with its French counterparts and looking into vessels that were in the area at the time.
East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service said it was "extremely unlikely" the substance involved was chlorine.
My guess: probably just a naturally occurring gas from decomposition. I used to live on a lake in Minnesota. Right after the ice melted, this same thing would happen in the morning for a few days at sunrise; exact same symptoms. Never bad enough to go to the hospital, but made it unpleasant for about an hour. I'm thinking it's something to do with decomposition in an anaerobic environment making ammonia or something like that.
Alisa Norris, a well-known cosplayer, also known as Alisa Kiss, who has appeared in costume at many comic con-style events over the years, as many characters — though Supergirl appears more than others — and has a strong following on social media. She has extended that appeal into other areas of her business.
But then she talked about going to Charlottesville for the marches the other day. Nothing unusual about that, many people have. But it seems she wasn’t on the side one might expect to find Supergirl.
There's nothing to feel threatened about unless you're retarded and subscribe to the idea of "le white extinction XD" "muh freedumbs" or whatever the hell else there is to feel threatened by due to a combination if being naive and clever yellow journalism
Stay woke faggots
The Slovenian artist Maja Smrekar was awarded the Golden Nica at the Prix Ars Electronica in Linz for the controversial project "ARTE_mis".
What's the matter? In the project, an artist's egg was "gutted" by experts in a laboratory and a body cell of her dog was inserted into it. The result is a new cell, which could theoretically create a mixture of humans and dogs. The survival chances of this being would be higher than ours, "said the Ars Electronica Center (AEC) in a press release," because this mix would treat its environment more humane than we do. "
Prohibited, but allowed
The FPÖ National Councilors Walter Rosenkranz, Werner Neubauer and a further member of parliament now submitted a parliamentary question to Thomas Drozda (SPÖ), Federal Minister for Art and Culture, "regarding strange art understanding at the Prix Ars Electronica".
The deputies want to know from Drozda, among other things, why such projects are forbidden in research, but are allowed in art. Furthermore, they asked whether the winning project had been funded with public funds and the criteria selected by the jury.
"This project clearly exceeded the boundaries of morality and ethics," says Neubauer in a conversation with "Heute". He criticizes the responsible persons: "The fact that the politically responsible Linz councilor Lang-Mayerhofer and the representatives of the religious communities have not spoken up to now is unbelievable." In any case, he would also deal with the Bioethics Commission.
Ted Zellers has knocked on doors from the West End to the North Side to Polish Hill and beyond, all to ask people if he can have a look in their basements.
“I’ve been surprised about how positive the reactions of people have been,” he said. “I was really worried when I started this that a lot of people would think I was a weirdo for wanting to do this.”
The Lawrenceville resident and amateur photographer is compiling photographs of those lone basement toilets. He said he’s hoping to one day share them in some kind of coffee table book, or eventually a gallery show.
“Everybody recognizes that, yes, toilets are a part of all of our lives,” he said.
It’s a part of life that a lot of people don’t really think a lot about. Basement toilets can come in handy, especially if there are multiple people living in an older house with only one finished bathroom. But Pittsburgh’s basement toilets often lack any accompanying sinks, showers or, more notably, walls.
“What I always liked about them was, they were obviously placed in unexpected spots,” said WQED host Rick Sebak. “So there’s no rhyme or reason as to where they’d be in the basement. Sometimes right in the middle, sometimes in a corner, which seems to make more sense.”
In 2007, Sebak hosted a special called "Underground Pittsburgh." It partly explored the region’s basements -- including Pittsburgh potties.
“I know that various people have accommodated it, you know, either put a curtain around it or, at my house, in the basement, somebody put cinder blocks, so it’s still open at the one end," he said. "It’s kind of a stall.”
But when and why Pittsburgh toilets originated is more difficult to pinpoint.
“People say that mill workers came home, they were super dirty, they didn’t want to dirty the house, so they went in through the basement, showered in the basement and did their bathing in the basement and then came upstairs where the house was clean,” said Stephen Cummings, a realtor with RE/MAX in Pittsburgh who primarily works in the East End.
While that answer is accepted locally, there are few experts -- if any -- who can confirm that theory. Multiple local historians declined to verify the authenticity of the mill worker claim, since they didn’t specialize in basement, or toilet, history.
Cummings, who said he's sold or helped sell more than 600 houses in his eight years as a realtor, said Pittsburgh potties tend to show up in houses built between 1880 and 1910. Some showed up in houses in the ‘20s, less in the ‘30s and even fewer built in the ‘40s, he said, with them petering out after World War II.
But the 1880s were also a time when wealthier Pittsburghers might have had servants living in their houses. And with basement toilets in some of the city’s larger houses, Cummings has another idea.
A semi-enclosed Pittsburgh toilet in the basement of a home being remodeled in Crafton Heights.
CREDIT SARAH KOVASH / 90.5 WESA
“Some really large, older houses I’ve seen all over the city, if they’re large enough, they have signs of what was possibly even a kitchen in the basement, as well,” he said. “And I think that could show that they had servants living in the basement or using the basement as living quarters.”
But ultimately, the Pittsburgh potty evokes a sense of nostalgia for many locals. Sebak remembers them from his childhood.
“I can remember my grandmothers both had one in their basements and, you know, as a kid, it was kind of easier,” he said. “Just run down and use the toilet in the basement.”
That nostalgia and uniqueness is something Zellers is hoping to capture with his photo project.
“Culture comes big and small, public and private,” he said. “And the Pittsburgh toilet is...one that has almost no documentation associated with it, despite the fact that there is an incredible amount of variety and personalization in these toilets that people have put in over the years.
"I think that these are worth seeing. They’re worth sharing.”
>House Speaker Paul Ryan on Friday gave a major boost to legislative efforts to preserve protections for young undocumented immigrants -- and urged President Donald Trump to not tear up the program.
I do not post much. I'm very upset at the video of a Utah head nurse (former Olympic skier) ruffed up and arrested for not doing a blood test on a suspect (not under arrest and no warrant) 2006 Supreme Court ruled unlawful blood test can not be done. The video of the nurse pleading and asking what's going on with her boss on the speaker phone telling the officer he is making a big mistake. Officer knocks phone out of her hand, throws her into wall, handcuffs her, slings her around and puts her in a unmarked unit. SOMEONE POST THAT SHIT! Video Much Respect...AnonSteveE